Dance Marathon Journal #13

Ng Yi-Sheng

September 14, 2015




Born in Tokyo in 1970, CHIE ITO began lessons in modern dance at the age of four. When she was 15, she started classical ballet. She performed her first 10-minute choreographed piece at the age of 18. To become a choreographer, she studied dance at Nihon University. In 1990, she co-founded Strange Kinoko Dance Company and has since been actively involved as a choreographer and director for all pieces performed by Kinoko. In 2000, she won the Yokohama Culture Foundation Award for her choreography of “Because You Said It Would Be Exposed” (duo piece). She served as the assistant to Philippe Decouflé on “Iris”, a Cirque du Soleil show, in October 2003. She has also worked on the elementary school educational television programme “Do Re Mi TV” and the movie “Megane”. Currently, she is a lecturer at Obirin University.


Title of the archived dance: With Myself 20 Minutes Later

What is the concept of your Archive Box?

I felt that the Archive Box is another form of my work. When I make dance-works, I always think about what should be communicated to others and how simply it can be done. Therefore, I decided to approach the creation of the Archive Box in the same way I approach dance creation.

I began by writing down on a piece of paper what I intended to communicate through the original work. I then added the costume, as well as sound and video recordings, to the Box, in order to convey the work’s texture. I also included the stage plan and cue sheet, so that a user would understand the way I used time and space in the original work.

Finally, I sealed the Box with a piece of paper that read “Open With A Punk Spirit”. This paper had to be torn if a user wanted to open the Box. Two messages were implied by this gesture. Since I put my heart and soul into creating this dance, I wanted to be sure that the user would open the Box with the same level of determination. I also wanted the user to transform the Box with their own punk spirit in whatever way they desired.

Creating an Archive Box is also about how one can detach him/herself from their own work. I wanted to give my Archive Box to a user as a gift.

I selected only the essential elements of the work, so that whoever used my Box could apply their full imagination to create work using a new approach. 

By whom and in what way would you like your Box to be used?

Someone who wants to put things into some kind of ‘practice’. I was initially making the Box for those who were active in the dance field, but later came to think that I also wanted people from other fields to use the Box as well.

Was there anything you were not able to realise in the project? Were there any unexpected outcomes?

Since the work deals with the theme of ‘time’, I wanted to create a Box that allows a user to feel this sense of time and experience the original work. A video documentation cannot recreate an experience of the actual work. Alternatively, I would like to invent, for example, a mechanism that could enable a user to experience the time and music of “With Myself 20 Minutes Later”, the dance that I archived. Perhaps the Archive Box I created in this project was a kind of documentation packed with the work’s theme.

What would you like to leave for the future by creating this Archive Box?

When earthenware is excavated from an archaeological site, those who see the vessel can imagine how people from that particular period might have lived. Similarly, it would be interesting if seeing an Archive Box could inspire many possibilities, such as dreaming about the past, starting something new, or re-evaluating the ‘now’.

I myself would like to create the work again by using my Archive Box. It is easy to become preoccupied with the ‘form’ when thinking about re-production or repertory. However, an Archive Box could perhaps give me a sense of meeting myself from just a while back.

With thanks to The Saison Foundation for permitting SIFA to reproduce this interview with Chie Ito.






30min, followed by intermission

Double Bill with Passage on Blur


  • 2015